5-year development journey affirms leading position of Timo digital bank in Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Aug. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — At the Asia-Pacific Digital Banking Forum 2021 on August 5 organized by Clariden Global, Henry Nguyen, CEO of Timo digital bank, shared how over the course of five years, the company has risen to the leading position in the digital banking market in Vietnam, a "promising land" for digital banking.

Henry Nguyen – CEO of Timo digital bank shared some of the bank's hard-earned wisdom at the Asia-Pacific Digital Banking Forum
Henry Nguyen – CEO of Timo digital bank shared some of the bank’s hard-earned wisdom at the Asia-Pacific Digital Banking Forum

Attended by global leaders in the digital banking sector, Asia-Pacific Digital Banking Forum 2021 discussed digital transformation and long-term investment strategies to build up advanced technology platforms and upgrade customer experiences in digital banking.

Established in 2015, Timo is Vietnam’s very first digital banking platform which has rapidly evolved over the past years and become the No.1 digital bank. More than two million transactions a month attest to growing customer satisfaction and trust, resulting in an expected gross transaction value at a $2.5 billion run rate.

Its success in enhancing customer experience while growing the overall business has resulted in Timo winning a number of prestigious awards, both domestically and regionally, such as Leading Digital Banking Platform in Vietnam by Golden Dragon Award and Best Digital Bank in Vietnam 2021 voted by International Business Magazine. Furthermore, Timo was named the Best Digital Bank in Vietnam 2021 by International Business Magazine and in a remarkable double-first at The Global Economics awards received the first prizes in the Fastest-Growing Digital Bank 2020 and Most Innovative Digital Bank 2020.

This also signals the growing digital maturity in the Vietnamese banking industry as customers show increasing awareness and demand for digital banking products.

At the APAC Digital Banking Forum 2021, Henry Nguyen shared five lessons Timo has learned over the five years it has risen to the top of the Vietnamese digital banking market.

Lesson 1: Build around timeless principles

Timo has been developed based on the core principle of creating "one app for all banking needs".

Timo stands for "Time" and "Money" with the commitment to help customers save time and make the most of their finances through a single platform. To this end, Timo has been consistently building an ecosystem of digital banking features with a single app to meet customers’ requirements quickly, conveniently, and completely free of charge.

Timo’s app does away with the inconveniences customers have with traditional banking each day, such as queuing for service and cumbersome paperwork.

Timo has been developed based on the core principle of creating "one app for all banking needs
Timo has been developed based on the core principle of creating "one app for all banking needs

Lesson 2: Digital transformation requires continuous research and improvement

A digital bank does not achieve success overnight. The development requires consistent implementation with a customer-centric mindset. Targeting a breakthrough in the next 5-10 years, Timo is nourishing an ever-growing network of partners in its digital ecosystem while using customer data and insights from the domestic and foreign markets to improve its functionality and user experience.

Lesson 3: Technology is essential, but not the only factor for success

Technology is not the key to success for digital banks, but it will help digital banks better understand customers’ behaviours and habits, thereby providing the best and most convenient experiences.

Technologies such as big data, machine learning, and AI can help businesses and digital banks learn more about existing and potential clients, using these insights to offer personalised that meet their individual needs.

In the next five years, Timo will focus on the above technologies to generate actionable insights into customer behaviour and consumption habits. Timo will develop products tailored to the needs of individual consumers while offering faster and more convenient services.

Lesson 4: Digital banks do not need a branch network but still need to be present everywhere

Customers need to be connected to receive support when they need it. Despite being a digital bank, Timo is constantly looking to make its presence felt across customers’ daily life. The strategy of "standing on the shoulders of giants" under which the digital bank has tied up with many powerful partners such as 7-Eleven and McDonald’s has helped Timo achieve unparalleled customer outreach and increase its brand recognition.

The cooperation with these two brands which are especially popular among young people not only helps Timo reach a potential customer base but allows it to quickly cover the Vietnamese market and increase its brand recognition by appearing in all McDonald’s and 7-Eleven stores.

Lesson 5: To succeed, a bank must inspire trust

Traditional banks face ongoing challenges is complying with changing legal regulations, risk management, capital assurance, and the urgent need to upgrade their systems. For digital banks however, customer trust is the most vital factor to achieve.

This "trust" is the biggest barrier for digital banks and by becoming an effective financial partner that always puts the customers at the heart of its development, Timo has set itself apart from the market. The satisfaction and trust of the customer is the foundation for long-term loyalty to Timo.


Vince is a tech geek, has a passion for sharing knowledge and loves to tinker with different gadgets. Whenever he gets a new gadget he just open the box and figure out how the gadget works without reading the manual.

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